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Tara L. Lin, MD

Tara Lin portrait
Professor, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapeutics

Professional Background

Dr. Lin received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and her MD from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research from Tulane University.

She completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of Maryland and Medical Oncology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA in the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto with a focus on leukemia stem cells.

She served on the faculty in Hematology/Oncology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans from 2008-2011. She joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 2011. She was named Director of the Acute Leukemia Program in 2016 and has served as the Medical Director of the KU Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office since 2017. In this role, she works closely with Cancer Center leadership to determine and execute the KUCC clinical research strategy. She works closely with Clinical Trials Office Staff on staff training and retention, interactions with the University Research Institute, Institutional Review Board, Health System leadership and quality assurance initiatives. She serves as Chair of the Executive Resourcing Committee, responsible for the review of all proposed clinical trials to ensure that adequate resources are available and that the proposed research is aligned with KUCC priorities. Over the past five years, accruals to clinical trials across KUCC have increased, with particular gains in early phase, IIT, community site, African American and rural enrollments.
Dr. Lin was selected to join the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) Clinical Research Innovation Steering Committee, and she will serve as Chair from 2021-2023. AACI is the professional organization for 103 cancer centers from across the US and Canada. The CRI Steering Committee guides and implements activities that encourage best practices and efficient use of resources and operations in cancer center clinical research facilities. The Steering Committee develops the program for the AACI CRI Annual Meeting held each July and coordinates several working groups in collaboration with industry stakeholders.

Education and Training
  • BA, Liberal Arts, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • MD, Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  • MS, Clinical Research, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA



Dr. Lin's research is focused on the development of novel treatment strategies for patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She has served as the local principal investigator on more than 30 studies in acute leukemia, including NCI cooperative group and pharmaceutical-sponsored trials. Accruals for acute leukemia patients on to clinical trials average between 30-40% of analytic cases the last five years.

Dr. Lin has collaborated on translational research projects with Dr. Linheng Li at the Stowers Institute and Dr. John Perry at Children’s Mercy Hospital (A Pilot Study of Low-Dose Daunorubicin in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Leukemia); with Drs. Joaquina Baranda at KUMC and Tomoo Iwakuma at Children’s Mercy Hospital (Statin use in cancers with mutated TP53); and with Dr. Ramesh Balusu at KUMC (Differentiation therapy with multi-targeted TKI in AML). She is co-author on more than 50 abstracts, 58 publications and 7 book chapters. In 2018 KUMC was selected to join the Beat AML Consortium – a collaboration sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Beat AML is a highly selective group, with 17 institutions across the country invited to participate. KUMC participated in the translational research collaboration as well as the family of clinical trials under the Beat AML umbrella. Dr. Lin was a co-author on the Beat AML publications "Functional Genomic Landscape in Acute Myeloid Leukemia" published in Nature in 2018 and “Precision Medicine Treatment in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Using Prospective Genomic Profiling” published in Nature Medicine in 2020. KUMC has been involved in clinical trials of 6 drugs recently approved for AML, and Dr. Lin served as the local PI for trials in 5 of those drugs. She was a co-author on the pivotal publications reporting the data which led to FDA approval for CPX-351 (Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018) and Venetoclax (Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2019). She is an active member of the SWOG Leukemia Committee and serves as Study Chair for the upcoming Myelomatch High Risk AML clinical trial.